Gotcha: Barnum & Bailey Circus workers grab Lima after his unexpected foray on to a motorway in the Georgia city of Atlanta
A motorway in the southern United States turned into a circus yesterday afternoon when an escaped zebra galloped along a busy section of interstate with police in hot pursuit.
The 12-year-old animal, named Lima, was exercising outside a downtown arena in preparation for an evening show when something spooked him, said a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus spokesman.
The zebra broke away from his trainers and bumped up against a fence, then wriggled through an opening.
Scroll down for video of Lima
'We're not sure what it was that startled him, but we're looking into that,' she said.
He was spotted by people in downtown Atlanta around 4:30pm, said a Georgia Department of Transportation spokesman.
Daniel Nance said he saw the zebra near a commuter station.
'All of a sudden a freaking zebra comes running down the street like a car,' Nance told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
'Five or six police cars were in hot pursuit. And a bunch of officers on foot. But then I got scared, thinking... what else is loose?'
Police cruisers blocked off all southbound lanes and were able to herd the zebra over to the right shoulder and off an entrance ramp
Caught out: The animal made its way through downtown to the interstate highway that cuts through the center of the city
Lima led his trainers and police on a 40-minute chase through downtown to the interstate highway that cuts through the center of the city, covering well over a mile along the way.
Police cruisers blocked off all southbound lanes of Interstate 75 and were able to herd the zebra over to the right shoulder and off an entrance ramp, where his trainer was on hand to capture and soothe him, Drake said.
'He obviously was excited, but he was in good shape,' Drake said. 'His handler calmed him down.'
The animal suffered cuts on his hooves from his long run, Drake said. The show's vet was examining him, but Drake said he would likely perform as scheduled.